If you have been following our ‘Best of Calgary, According to West Oak’ then you know how passionate we all are about food. We have a lot of great cooks and bakers on our team and so we thought that, in the spirit of lockdowns during this 3rd wave, that we would write a ‘home-made by West Oak’ article that focuses on the best burger!
It’s a time-tested burger
George is probably the most passionate at-home chef on our team, and he makes a burger that his family absolutely loves! In fact, a few of us on the team have made it for our family’s and is now part of the repertoire of regular meals.
Here is George’s family’s favourite, and best burger:
In searching for meal inspiration one evening, my daughter and I came across a recipe for the Oklahoma Onion Burger. It’s a time-tested burger that harkens back to the Great Depression when creativity and economy in the kitchen were necessary during that era of financial challenges. Serving onion burgers allowed the chef to utilize cheap and plentiful onions as way to extend expensive meat and still provide a filling and flavorful meal. Quite simply the onion burger, as originally conceived, is a small portion of beef flattened on a griddle, sprinkled with salt and pepper (if available) and piled high with sweet onions. Once the meat obtained a sear the burger was flipped to caramelize the onions and cook the meat through. It was served a variety of ways and with whatever seasonings and condiments were at hand.
For our family, we’ve modernized our Oklahoma Onion Burgers for a quick weeknight meal by utilizing premade patties from our favorite butcher (Master Meats). Simply pile thinly sliced sweet onions on the burgers as they cook on the griddle. Once you have a nice sear on the burger, flip and allow the onions to caramelize and cook the burger through (you may have to turn down temperature a little to avoid burning the onions). Serve on a toasted buttered bun with whatever condiments are at hand and pair with a green salad and simple vinaigrette. If you’re open to suggestions, I recommend keeping it simple and adding nothing more than a hearty dose of mustard. And for any kids out there, a pickle slice!
Oklahoma Onion Burgers (serves 4)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 lbs. of ground beef divided into 4 balls or 4 pre-made burger patties
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 medium onions thinly sliced
- Flavored cheese slices (if using)
- 4 hamburger buns
- Mustard, pickles, and other condiments
Heat griddle to medium high heat and add canola oil. When oil is shimmering add patties or hamburger balls and press down with the back of a spatula until completely flattened. Season with salt and pepper and pile onions high on burgers. In 2-3 minutes when the burgers have a nice sear on the bottom, carefully flip onion side down and reduce heat to medium. In about 1 minute add cheese (if using) and a toasted bun bottom on top of each burger to infuse the bun with flavor from the onions and beef while they finish cooking.
When the onions are soft and caramelizing on the edges and the meat has lost its pinkness, carefully remove each burger to a waiting bun top and serve with your favorite condiments.
Paired with a simple salad, or some baked potato wedges and you’ve got a simple, fast, and delicious meal. Give it a try and let us know what you think!